Cho and Tell

Colonic irrigation. S&M. Pornography. Her mom.

Just a few of the incendiary topics Margaret Cho covers in Notorious C.H.O., her new performance movie.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Cho is no mere shock artist, as anyone who’s caught her act (in person or in her last movie, I’m the One That I Want) knows. Yes, she’s pissed. Sure, she’s political. But there’s nothing gratuitous, preachy, or bitter about her stand-up act. It’s intelligent and honest — whether she’s talking about gay marriage (“A government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a fascist state!”) or her own eating disorder (“I ate my best friend!”). And yes, she does more of those much-loved impersonations of her mother (which you can compare with the real thing — the film features a hysterical interview with her parents).

The best reason to see the movie? Self-improvement, of course. At the end of the film, during an exit interview, an audience member hollers, “Margaret Cho, you make me want to be a better person!”

And so she does.

Notorious C.H.O. opens today in Los Angeles. Tickets are available at moviefone.com.